Martin In Japan

Our Man In Japan

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Arbor Draft board rocks!!

Last weekend I was able to ride my new Arbor Draft board for the first time. I had planned to go to Ishiuchi Maruyama on Friday afternoon, but I got held up at work and decided to go to the smaller but closer Matsudai Family Ski. I set up my board an bindings to the default settings and did some test runs to see how it felt. I made adjustments after every run and pretty soon the board felt perfect.

It really surprised me how different it felt from my old board. The new board feels more stable at speed and on corners and also a lot more forgiving. If I made a mistake and lost my balance, it felt like the board would try it's best to stay on my feet. I don't know if it's because the new board is shorter so it can turn quicker or if the build helps it respond more quickly, but to know that small mistakes will be forgiven is a great confidence boost. I also did a couple of runs straight down the slope as fast as I could and it felt great.

On Saturday I went to Ikenotaira, partially because I can get half-price birthday tickets all through January, but mainly because it has great powder runs and I wanted to see how my board responded to that. And it does really well. Again, it felt more responsive and turned more quickly (essential to avoid those trees!). My main worry was that a smaller board would sink more into the powder, especially with my weight on top, but that wasn't the case. The new board glided (glid?) on top of the snow with no risk of sinking.

On Sunday I went to Cupid Valley with Keiko and Fedor. They're both learning how to snowboard this season so I've offered to be their snowboard instructor! It did mean that I didn't get chance to rip up Cupid like I normally would, but I did find myself riding fakie (backwards) most of the day so that was goo practise. It also gave me timeto think more about my set up and I've concluded that my board is superb, the bindings are great but maybe my old boot are a bit too big. My feet are moving too much inside the boots so maybe a size smaller would be better.

So, I can't wait for the weekend now for more sessions in the snow. Erik and I have birthday's this weekend so our plan is to go to Hakuba in Nagano to play on the slopes and then go to Reggae Snow Splash. Should be fun!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

It's Here!!!

At last, my new board has arrived! Isn't it a beauty? None of these ultra-cool graphics that go out of season in three months. Just a board, with a beautiful cut fo wood in it. Classic. With a bit of luck, this will be my board for the next few seasons until either I break it, it breaks me, or I outgrow it.

But I'm getting ahead of myself; I haven't even ridden it yet! I'll take it for a spin tomorrow afternoon around Ishiuchi I think. There is now about a metre of snow
which is a lot more than two weeks ago.

I'll either be loving my new board straightaway or I'll be tinkering with the binding settings after every run. Fingers crossed!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Bindings have arrived!!

I picked up my bindings from the Post Office today. The Post Office tried to deliver them yesterday but I was out boarding in Ikenotaira.

So I'm half way to becoming a snowboarding genius. When my board arrives and I screw my bindings into them there will be no stopping me from becoming master of the mountain.

Shaun White must be trembling in his Burtons.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Nearly here!

I checked the 'track and trace' number for my new snowboard and this morning it passed through customs. So with a bit of luck, it should arrive tomorrow or Monday. Yay!

I only wish that we have some fresh fresh snow for me to try it out on. The forecast said that we would get snow this weekend, but at the moment it's raining in Tokamachi. I went to New Greenpia Tsunan yesterday and the snow was like an ice rink so it wasn't all that great. I'm hoping that there's snow up in the mountains to give us something nice to ride on Tomorrow and Monday.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Board on it's way!!

Just got an email from the online boardshop and they say they've shipped my new snowboard and bindings! Hopefully they'll arrive in 3-5 days, so if I'm lucky I can have them for the long weekend!

Things that go bump in the night

I'm tired and in pain after three days of wicked boarding. I'm getting ready for an early night and we have a small earthquake. Not a big one, more of a nudge, but just enough to remind you that the ground could, at anytime it wanted to, pick you up and shake you about. Don't think I'll be sleeping anytime soon now :-(

**Snow Blog**

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